NFL approves year-long trial for new fair-catch rule that could dramatically impact kickoff returns

NFL approves year-long trial for new fair-catch rule that could dramatically impact kickoff returns

NFL: Dallas Cowboys vs. Los Angeles Chargers

There could be fewer kickoff returns in the 2023 season and that’s because the NFL’s 32 owners have approved a new rule that will encourage returns to claim a fair shot.

Under the new rule, which was approved on Tuesday, if a kickoff returner calls for a good catch anywhere inside his own 25-yard line, the result will be the same as a touchdown and the The receiving team will receive the ball at the 25-yard line. This basically means that any kickoff taken between the goal line and the 24-yard line can be moved up to the 25-yard line as long as the returner calls for a good catch.

This means the NFL now has the same rule as college football, which implemented the rule in 2018. The only catch with the new NFL rule is that it might not be permanent. The rule was approved as a one-year trial, meaning if the NFL doesn’t get what it wants from the rule, it can be scrapped starting in 2024.

The NFL has been working for years to reduce the number of contacts that occur during kickoffs and by adding this new fair catch rule, the league hopes more players will make the decision to call for a fair catch instead. to opt for a return. .

The owners were actually going to vote on this rule on Monday, but it was postponed until Tuesday because it faced a lot of backlash from coaches and special teams players, according to at Sports Illustrated. One of the concerns with the new rule is that it could lead to more firecracker kicks, which could potentially lead to more hard kicks on kickoffs instead of fewer. Although the new rule was eventually approved, the NFL clearly listened to the panel’s concerns, which is likely why the rule is only approved for one year.

It’s been a busy week for NFL owners, who voted for award Super Bowl LX to the Bay Area while also handing over the 2025 NFL Draft to Green Bay. The owners too approve a new emergency QB rule.

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